Rising temperatures coupled with population growth, urbanization, and higher standards of living mean that demand for cooling is set to soar. More cooling results in more greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. Cool Up aims to interrupt this vicious cycle by tackling the growing cooling demand while mitigating its adverse impacts on the ozone layer and the climate.
Tackling the cooling challenge in a rapidly warming world
The planet is heating up. Climate change is already causing longer hot periods and higher extreme temperatures across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, trends that will intensify in the coming decades. The region is currently warming at double the global average and predicted to be 4⁰Celsius warmer by mid-century.
Such extreme temperatures mean that air conditioning will increasingly be a necessity across the region. This increased demand for cooling results in increased demand for the electricity needed to operate these devices (indirect greenhouse gas emissions). Add growing populations, urbanisation, and higher standards of living to the equation and the energy demand of the MENA region is projected to increase by 50% until 2040. An additional climate impact from cooling comes from the refrigerants still used in many of today’s air conditioners and refrigerators. Such refrigerants with a high global warming potential are 2,000 times more potent for the climate (direct greenhouse gas emissions) than carbon dioxide and natural refrigerant alternatives. Without further policy intervention, direct and indirect emissions from cooling and refrigeration may rise 90% above 2017 levels by 2050, creating a vicious feedback loop.
expected increase in energy demand across the MENA region by 2040
cooling devices in use worldwide
average temperature increase across the MENA region by 2050
Policy and regulation are key not only to transforming the cooling industry but to reducing demand for cooling, since options such as improved shading, ventilation and building shell quality as well as demand control all increase heat resilience. In Cool Up we support our partner countries in leveraging policy stimuli and developing policy interventions that accelerate implementation of the Kigali Amendment.
Chlorofluorocarbon substitutes in many air-conditioning (AC) and refrigeration systems such as HFCs and HCFCs were adopted when the ozone-depleting impacts of refrigerants became clear but were subsequently revealed to be potent greenhouse gas emitters. In addition to reducing demand for cooling, Cool Up supports the adoption of natural, sustainable refrigerants that are safe, affordable, and environmentally benign, with no negative impacts on the ozone layer or the climate. The Cool Up programme covers residential and commercial air conditioning as well as commercial refrigeration. Cool Up’s demonstration projects will help build trust in sustainable cooling technologies, inspire new technology innovation backed by solid evidence, and help local manufacturers convert to sustainable product lines.
The transition to sustainable cooling requires financing for new equipment and as well as active evolution of the manufacturing sectors involved. We are working with both governments and the financial sector to develop new climate financing solutions that can boost the cooling transition and improve access to finance for sustainable cooling technologies.